When we tell people about our programs here in Vancouver, they often say, "Isn't that idea a lot like that thing with Dave Eggers, and the kids, and writing, and pirates?" They're thinking of 826 Valencia, a kids' literacy organization in San Francisco co-founded by Dave Eggers, and yes, we are inspired by the amazing work they do, making literacy exciting for kids across America and selling wacky things like pirate supplies to help fund their programs and draw kids (and kids at heart) into their writing centres.
To get inspired, too, check out this four-minute version of Dave Eggers's TED Talk about starting the 826 Valencia empire:
If you've got more time, here's the whole video (it's worth the extra 20 minutes!):